Social media and content marketing can work really well together, especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs with limited resources. Once you’ve created a piece of content that you’d like to use for marketing and set up a functioning email list, you can use social media to look for leads.
There are four social networking websites that all business owners should be aware of. While you shouldn’t try to maintain a profile on all of them, you need to know they exist. Here is a short description of each of those websites as a refresher.
This is currently the largest social networking website in the world. It has been said to have over a billion users. In fact, some people would say that the number of Facebook users makes it the size of a country. The billion users are on the website for a variety of reasons but they’re largely social. People use Facebook as a tool for keeping in touch with friends, family, classmates, business associates and anyone else they want to connect with.
Because there are so many people using Facebook, it’s very valuable for businesses. There are about 15 million businesses using Facebook as a marketing and community building tool. One of the reasons that number is so high is because it’s free to have a Facebook account whether you’re a business or an individual. Another reason that number is so high is because being on Facebook gives you direct access to a lot of people in one central place.
Not only does Facebook have a free option for reaching your audience, it also has a paid service called Facebook Ads. This allows you to run ads on Facebook targeting a very specific demographic. You can also do it while working with any sized budget. You choose the keywords, audience and region you want to target and set the budget then run your campaign.
You pay a set amount for each person that clicks on your ad. Once your budget runs out, your ad stops running. Then you can go in and review the statistics and see how effective your ad was at getting leads.
With these two different ways to engage and interact with the Facebook community, it makes sense that about 15 million businesses would have a presence on the website.
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This is one of the largest social networking websites with a focus on micro blogging. Twitter users communicate through short 140 character posts. There are about half a million users on Twitter and over four million businesses on it. It’s free for a business to create a profile and start using Twitter. Many businesses use Twitter to communicate with their audience. Some of them use it to feature giveaways and share special offers while others use it as a customer service tool.
Twitter provides a lot of value to businesses because it makes it possible for them to have conversations with their audience. It also makes it possible for them to tune in to the conversations being had and gain some insight into what people really want. Some brands have found very creative ways to leverage their Twitter community and experience a lot of benefit from it.
In addition to the free profile that every business can create, Twitter has a new advertising feature. You can either promote your specific Twitter account or promote specific tweets. It works two different ways.
If you want to get more Twitter followers overall, you would create a campaign to promote your account. You choose your budget and are charged only when someone follows you. Once your budget is exhausted, your campaign will stop running.
If you want to highlight a specific tweet, you would create a campaign to promote that tweet. You choose your budget and are charged when someone interacts with your tweet in some way. This means that any time someone retweets, favorites or replies to your tweet you will be charged. Once your budget is exhausted, your tweet will stop being promoted.
Twitter is a very active community and the new advertising option makes it very valuable for businesses to reach a large audience at once. It’s even more valuable because you don’t pay until your tweet garners some kind of interaction or response.
With over 250 million users, LinkedIn is a social media community with a strong business to business audience. It’s largely used by companies as a recruiting tool and by people seeking job opportunities. The format of the profile is like an interactive resume and the groups are all centered on a type of professional development. People can only request connections from others that they have some kind of relationship with or have been referred to by someone else.
LinkedIn is the top business focused social media network. It’s free for businesses to create a page as long as there is a personal profile created by the person setting it up. There are different safeguards in place to ensure that LinkedIn remains a valuable network for the business community. LinkedIn has a focus on networking which is why users can’t randomly send requests to anyone. It also has different communities set up for individuals with similar professional interests can come together.
Those safeguards have worked pretty well so far which is why there are about three million businesses using the network. You can rest assured that the people following your business are doing it because they’re interested in your company specifically.
As a business user, you can share information about your company, including the website. You can also share company updates. In fact, the best way to make your LinkedIn page valuable is to actively share updates and information on a regular basis.
As with the other social networking websites, LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to purchase sponsored updates. You choose your target audience and how you’d like to pay and set your bid. Your post will be visible to that audience until your budget is exhausted then your update will stop being featured. The same goes for any ads you’d like to run.
You can run ads whether you have a business account or not but if you want to establish your brand on LinkedIn, it’s best to create a company page.
It started out as an online scrapbooking website but now Pinterest is one of the largest social media communities. It has over 70 million users. Initially the audience on Pinterest was largely made up of women who would share pictures of recipes, weddings, fashion and other women oriented lifestyle images.
It has since exploded with a growing and broadening audience and businesses began to see the benefit in joining the Pinterest community. It’s free for business to join Pinterest and there isn’t an official advertising feature just yet. Pinterest is experimenting with having promoted pins but there’s no definitive program currently in place.
Using Pinterest gives you access to the community of 70 million users that enjoy interacting with images and videos. You can use Pinterest’s visual focus to create an image that supports your brand.
Even though you can’t run ads on Pinterest, you can share pins that link back to your website and encourage people to make a purchase. Some businesses have experienced success with creating pin boards around a specific type of product and encouraging users to click through to purchase that product.